Concealed pothole throws cyclist off folding bike with small wheels

On 20 March 2019 at around 6.40pm, David was cycling to an event at the Grosvenor Hotel in the West End of Edinburgh. It was a pleasant Spring evening.

David was riding on Bruntsfield Terrace when the front wheel of his bicycle, a Dahon Mariner folding bike with 24’ wheels, went into a large pothole that was partially concealed by the speed restriction bump on the road.Pothole on Bruntsfield Terrace

Pothole on Bruntfield Terrace - EdinburghDavid was thrown from his bicycle and landed in the middle of the road. Thankfully, the car that had been travelling behind him was able to stop and provide assistance. David sustained suspected fractures to his ribs and received medical treatment.

David contacted Cycle Law Scotland with helpful images and measurements of the potholes. A depth of 40mm or more is largely used to categorise a defect as an ‘actionable’ i.e. requiring repair.

For us to progress a claim successfully, it is also crucial to establish whether the Council knew or ought to have known about the defect during their most recent inspection and had subsequently then failed to carry out the necessary repair work to prevent an incident occurring.

One of the first actions we take at Cycle Law Scotland is to submit a Freedom of Information Request to the local authority. This revealed that there had been some complaints made by others regarding the condition of Bruntsfield Terrace.

Therefore, we intimated a claim on David’s behalf. It was revealed that the defect had in fact been recorded prior to David’s incident on 4 March 2019 but no action had been taken to repair the defect.

Liability was admitted.

Cycle Law Scotland secured a fair settlement for David. He was delighted with the result commenting:
 
“I’m very grateful to Cycle Law Scotland for their support and work on my behalf”.

This case shows how important it is to take images and measurements of a road defect at the time of the incident. This case also highlights the importance of acquiring maintenance and inspections records to determine when the last inspection was and if a defect had been noted and then not actually repaired.

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